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Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP Wrongful Termination

Wrongful Termination Attorney in New York City

Can You Be Fired for No Reason In NYC?

The labor laws regarding termination in New York do not make it a “right to work” state meaning that you can be fired for no reason. The term “wrongful termination” is misleading because in New York and most other states, without a written agreement for a specific term, employment is “at will.” The NY law allows your employer to fire you on a whim or for a totally arbitrary reason. This makes New York an at-will employment state.

This means that employers can fire or terminate you for any reason, or for no reason at all, unless:

  • (1) Your rights are protected under employment discrimination laws. Employers cannot discriminate against you on the basis of age, sex or gender, race, national origin, disability or perceived disability, pregnancy status, marital status, or sexual orientation.
  • (2) You have an employment contract, either written or implied, with the employer, who agreed that you cannot be fired without just cause for a specific period of time. The terms of the contract will usually determine the reasons for which you can be fired.

Otherwise, employers may terminate employees for any reason or for no reason. Employers may fire you if they don’t like you, or even if they just don’t like the clothes you’re wearing. In other words, it is not illegal for employers to be “mean” or to be “wrong” when they fire you.

To schedule a consultation with our experienced New York wrongful termination lawyer, call (646) 490-0221 or fill out our online form today!

What Are Examples of Wrongful Termination In NYC?

  • Employment Discrimination - New York State and federal laws prohibt discrmination because of an employee's protected class such as race, religion, gender, disability, etc. That includes termination of said employment. If you experienced a pattern of discriminating behavior up until or even after you were fired, you may have a case for wrongful termination.
  • Retaliation - Employer retaliation can take many forms but wrongful termination is one of the most effectuve. An employer might fire you for filing a workers' comp claim after an injury. Your boss might want to get rid of you after you rebuffed his sexual advances. Or you might be terminated for becoming a whistleblower.
  • Pregnancy - A pregnant employee's position at their company is protected while on FMLA leave, however, that does not stop some employers from trying to skirt around federal regulations. If you were fired after reporting your pregnancy or soon after you returned to work, you might have a case for wrongful termination.

Do I Have a Case for Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination means firing someone because of their race, religion, gender, disability status, or membership in another protected category, or firing someone as a form of retaliation. If you believe to have been fired from your job for any of those reasons contact Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP.

What Damages Can You Recover from a Wrongful Termination Case?

In a wrongful termination case, individuals who believe they have been unjustly dismissed from their employment may seek to recover various damages as a result of the adverse actions taken against them. While the specific damages awarded can vary depending on the circumstances of each case and the applicable laws, there are several common types of damages that may be sought in such legal proceedings:

  • Back Pay and Front Pay: Back pay refers to the wages and benefits the terminated employee would have earned from the date of termination until the resolution of the case. This includes any salary, bonuses, and other compensation they would have received.
  • Front pay is similar but covers the future earnings and benefits that the employee may have expected had they continued working for the employer.
  • Reinstatement: In some cases, a court may order the reinstatement of the wrongfully terminated employee to their former position. Reinstatement aims to place the employee back in the same or a similar position they held before the termination.
  • Compensatory Damages: These damages are intended to compensate the employee for any losses suffered as a direct result of the wrongful termination. This may include damages for emotional distress, mental anguish, and other non-economic harm caused by the termination.
  • Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are awarded to punish the employer for particularly egregious or malicious conduct leading to the termination. These damages are not intended to compensate the employee but rather to deter similar behavior in the future.
  • Legal Fees and Costs: Successful plaintiffs in wrongful termination cases may be entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees and legal costs incurred during the litigation process. This provision is designed to alleviate the financial burden on the wrongfully terminated employee seeking justice.
  • Benefits: Wrongfully terminated employees may seek compensation for lost or diminished benefits such as health insurance, retirement contributions, stock options, and other perks that would have been available had the employment relationship continued.
  • Training or Rehabilitation Costs: If the termination hinders the employee's ability to secure comparable employment, the court may award damages for retraining or rehabilitation expenses to enhance the individual's employability.

Is There A Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Wrongful Termination Claim In NY?

In New York, there is indeed a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful termination lawsuit. The exact timeframe varies based on the nature of your claim and the governing legal framework. Wrongful termination cases often arise from violations of state or federal statutes, including anti-discrimination laws, retaliation protections, or breaches of employment contracts.

As an example, if your wrongful termination includes allegations of discrimination under federal statutes such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, you typically have 300 days from the date of termination to make a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Wrongful discharge claims based on breach of contract or other common law claims generally have a statute of limitations of six years in New York.

Understanding the applicable statute of limitations is crucial, as failing to file within the designated time period can result in the loss of your right to pursue legal action. Consulting with an NYC wrongful termination lawyer can provide clarity on the specific deadlines relevant to your case and ensure that your claim is filed promptly and correctly. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, it is advisable to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to protect your rights and maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.

What Should I Do If I Believe I Have Been Wrongfully Terminated?

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated in New York, taking immediate and informed action is crucial. Here's a concise guide on what to do:

  1. Document Everything: Gather all relevant documents related to your employment and termination. This includes contracts, emails, performance reviews, and termination letters. Detailed records are essential for building your case.
  2. Understand Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with federal and state laws regarding wrongful termination, which often involve issues like discrimination, retaliation, or breach of contract. Knowing your rights helps determine if your termination was unlawful.
  3. Consult a Wrongful Termination Attorney in NYC: Seeking legal advice early on is vital. The New York City wrongful termination lawyers at Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP specialize in employment law and can provide a clear assessment of your case. They can help understand your options and the likelihood of success based on your situation.
  4. File a Complaint: Depending on your claim, you may need to file a complaint with a government agency.
  5. Consider Litigation: If a resolution isn't possible through negotiation, your attorney might advise pursuing litigation. This involves filing a lawsuit in court to seek compensation for damages such as lost wages, emotional distress, and punitive damages.
  6. Stay Professional: Maintain professionalism in your interactions with your former employer and any potential witnesses. Your conduct can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

By following these steps and working closely with experienced New York City wrongful termination lawyers, you can effectively navigate your claim's complexities and seek the justice you deserve.

How Can A New York Wrongful Termination Lawyer Help You?

If you feel that you or someone you care about was unfairly fired, a wrongful termination attorneys can thoroughly examine your case and let you know the best route available for you to take, together with your attorney.

  • Paperwork: Your attorney will file and take care of the paperwork involved with your case and will ensure that everything is completed correctly
  • Evidence: Your attorney will gather important evidence that is required to support your case and help you win a favorable outcome
  • Legal Advise: Your attorney will provide you with valuable legal information to protect your rights and future
  • Legal Experience: Your attorney is a legal expert who knows the ins and outs of the legal system, and will be able to offer you the support that you need
  • Examination: Your attorney will thoroughly examine your case and provide you with the best legal strategy to take moving forward (e.g. breach of contract or a wrongful discharge lawsuit)

Don't let yourself doubt your current employment situation. Speak with one of our experienced attorneys today, and let us provide you with the legal support and guidance that you need during this challenging time. Contact our wrongful termination attorneys in NYC today to schedule a free consultation, and to learn more information about how a lawyer will be able to assist you. We have helped many individuals struggling for clarity after being fired, and we are eager to fight for you.

Call Our New York Wrongful Termination Lawyers

If you believe you have been fired for questionable reasons that may constitute employment discrimination or a breach of contract, then consider discussing your concerns with a New York wrongful termination lawyer.

Why Choose Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP?

  • More than 100 years of combined legal experience
  • Selected for Super Lawyers® multiple times
  • Members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®
  • AV® rated by peers for ethical standards and legal skill

Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP was one of the very first New York law firms to focus on employment law. Every day we uphold a legacy of exceptional representation for workers who have faced discrimination and wrongful termination. Please don’t hesitate to see how we can help you assert your legal rights.

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Contact Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP online or at (646) 490-0221 to schedule your free initial consultation!

Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP

Why Choose Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP?

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